Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles

USA TODAY Sports

Since this is the first series of the season, I wanted to throw a general question out to everyone: what would you like to see in our series previews over the course of this season? Any particular features that you enjoyed from other years? Anything new we could try? Our plan is to have a series preview for every series going forward, and we want to make sure they're useful and informative for readers.

This is far from a full, fleshed-out preview, but to get the ball rolling, Ian put together some projected splits for the Orioles:

Offense

Player Proj. wOBA
vs. RHP
Proj. wOBA
vs. LHP
Taylor Teagarden 0.265 0.280
Matt Wieters 0.322 0.346
Alexi Casilla 0.287 0.280
Chris Davis 0.331 0.301
Ryan Flaherty 0.284 0.312
J.J. Hardy 0.306 0.333
Manny Machado 0.310 0.330
Brian Roberts 0.300 0.281
Adam Jones 0.351 0.323
Nick Markakis 0.344 0.315
Nate McLouth 0.317 0.279
Nolan Reimold 0.328 0.310

The Orioles are returning with very much the same team they had at the end of the 2012 season. They lost Mark Reynolds to free agency, but other than that, their offense looks nearly exactly the same as last year. It's an interesting roster, with a combination of some young talent (Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Adam Jones) and some aging regulars (Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis). They have a very solid core to build around going forward, though, which has got to be encouraging for O's fans out there.

I'm especially interested to see how Chris Davis does this season. After finally breaking out some last year and becoming an everyday player, he's going to need to show he can do it again. His strikeout rate is still scarily high (30%), so unless he can lower that or duplicate his BABIP success last year (.335 BABIP), he's bound for some regression.

Pitching

Player Proj. wOBA
vs. RHB
Proj. wOBA
vs. LHB
Jake Arrieta 0.309 0.357
Luis Ayala 0.314 0.344
Wei-Yin Chen 0.328 0.300
Miguel Gonzalez 0.307 0.324
Jason Hammel 0.323 0.331
Jim Johnson 0.312 0.289
Brian Matusz 0.361 0.305
Darren O'Day 0.281 0.304
Troy Patton 0.312 0.286
Pedro Strop 0.307 0.325
Tommy Hunter 0.319 0.352

The O's starting rotation is still their weakest spot. I still have faith that one of their young starters will eventually amount to something, but so far, they continue to get inconsistent results from Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton. They need to start putting it together if the O's hope to stay competitive, but the addition of Dylan Bundy (likely) later this year should help with that.

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